Like Kind brings together artists Suhas Bhujbal, Daniel Ochoa and Ryoko Tajiri in their first group exhibition. It traces the profound influence of the Bay Area Figurative Movement on these three international artists and is on view at Hall Spassov Gallery
from May 7 through May 31, 2014.
In the mid-20th century a group of artists in the San Francisco Bay Area started to abandon Abstract Expressionism in favor of a representational or figurative approach to painting. Becoming known as the Bay Area Figurative Movement, it spanned about two decades and was led by acclaimed artists such as Richard Diebenkorn and Paul Wonner. Many of the Bay Area schools became important drivers in the development of this art form, and it should come as no surprise that all three artists featured in Like Kind received their M.F.A. from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Take Ryoko Tajiri, born and raised in Japan, who moved to San Francisco to enter the Academy to focus on studio painting. She studied under a handful of prominent figurative painters, including Suhas Bhujbal, who was a faculty member at the Academy at the time. While Tajiri applies abstract elements and strong fragmentation to her paintings, the object or figure remains easily recognizable.
Daniel Ochoa shares that strong foundation in figurative painting. Growing up in a bicultural family, his father is Mexican and his mother American, his paintings deal with the deconstruction of identity. He applies tape to mask certain areas of his work, mostly portraits, and builds up layers of paint to juxtapose realistic and abstract qualities.
In contrast to both Tajiri and Ochoas focus on the figure or object, Bhujbals work is centered around cityscapes, often devoid of people. Small, quiet towns from his home country of India and now the U.S. attract him more than big cities. Applying thickly encrusted paint and transparent glazes, his dramatic compositions strip down architectural forms to their emotional core.